You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know that the past few weeks, rivers in the Northeast neared levels they haven’t reached in decades. It’s become almost commonplace to see streets flooded and trees down because of water-logged soil.
Rising water tables have also played havoc with our basements and personal property. Water in your house causes immediate problems, but just when you think the danger is gone, toxic mold starts invading your home. Sometimes you see or smell it – and sometimes you don’t. Life can be so unfair!
Here are some answers to the questions our customers frequently ask:
Is all mold bad?
Not at all. Outside, mold plays an important role in our environment, breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen trees and leaves. We’ll soon see the good mold on fallen leaves.
Indoor mold is also normal, but this is where the problems can start. Mold latches on to moist surfaces, starts growing, and begins causing all sorts of health issues such as allergic reactions that mimic hay-fever symptoms – sneezing, runny, itchy eyes, red nose and skin rashes. Mold can also cause asthma attacks and can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs.
Can mold damage my home?
Mold can destroy the things it grows on – including your home’s walls, floors and furnishings. The key is to control moisture in your home and eliminate mold growth before it takes over.
What can I do to prevent mold?
The most important thing you can do is to control moisture levels in your home. If water enters your home, take immediate steps to get rid of it. Use vacuums and fans to rid surfaces of any residual moisture.
Do this within 24 hours, as toxic mold can invade your home in less than a day.
Once an area is dry, test for mold. Since do-it-yourself home tests are often inaccurate, your best bet is to call in a certified microbial mold inspector.
The Environmental Protection Agency offers a free download, Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home. Check it out at http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf.